Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
I have noticed on several occasions, small birds chasing away hawks. Does anyone know if there is a bird that is easy to attract and build nesting boxes for, that will chase hawks away?
I have no idea about birds to chase the hawks away but our solution to hawks killing our poults and pullets was to make sure there is always things hanging on the clotheslines - we use the line & pully system for hanging clothes and the back poles are in the middle of the poultry yard so we have a few old towels we keep handy right by the bench where the basket of laundry sits to hang out and take in and when a load is taken in a couple towels get hung on the line and run out. the towels break the bird's concentration enough he can't swoop & grab. We also have a half dozen 6 inch shiny & glittery christmas balls we bought and have hung a various points around the poultry yard that seems to help scare the birds of prey away. Eagles and Owls will land if need be if the prey is too big to just grab & go (we've had this happen twice once with a Great Horned Owl & once with a Golden Eagle) but the towels hanging on the line are just enough that they don't feel they have the room to land now.
Our big battle right now isn't with the birds of prey it's with a raccoon and/or fisher. We've got 2 Hav-A-Hart traps set one in the poultry yard and one out behind my garden near the woods and a rat trap screwed to the fence where what ever the critter is is coming over into the poultry yard. The hope is that if the Hav-A-Hart traps don't get it the rat trap will snap a foot and make it think twice before it trys for a dinner of chicken or duck again (we've lost one of each over a couple months when they hid instead of going in the coop to be shut in for the night)
Eastern Kingbirds chase away our hawks. I agree that it's kind of a catch-22. I used to see them flying away with snakes and field mice all the time. Now I see them perched on the trees every week or two, but rarely flying over our fields like they used to.
I am not sure how to attract them, but I agree with the comment above that it's usually during nesting. We have lots of small nests around with baby birds in them. The nests are in the barn rafters and pine trees mostly. The birds are cute, but they must look mighty tasty to those hawks.
Could try some LGDs. Our Pyrs bark at hawks. They say Maremma's are the best for aerial predation, but our Maremma hasn't yet shown that trait, so I can't speak from experience...
I've heard that adding a couple of geese (including a gander) to your flock will work to deter hawks. We've only had two hawk attacks over the years both of which were thankfully unsuccessful so I haven't felt compelled to try geese out.